HAY, Edward. History of the Insurrection of the County of Wexford, A.D. 1798, including an Account of
Transactions Preceding that Event, with an Appendix. Embellished with an elegant Map of the County of Wexford.
Dublin: Printed for the Author, by John Stockdale, 1803. pp. [vi], xliv, 304, xxxvi, 20, . Contemporary full tree
calf gilt, title in gilt on black morocco letterpiece. Spine divided into panels by gilt Greek-key rolls. Mild rubbing. A
very good copy.
Edward Hay (1761-1826) was the author of this book on the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and a witness to many
of the events of that time. He was born, about 1761, at Ballinkeele (near Crossabeg), County Wexford, into
a Catholic family. His family were large landowners and were long-established in the county. Hay was
educated in France and Germany. His father was Harvey Hay. Ballinkeele house and estate was sold in
1825 to the Maher family, who shortly afterwards replaced the old Hay home with a new house.
Hay was witness to many of the events in Wexford town during the Rebellion. His brother, John, was a
prominent Rebel leader, and was executed near the end of the Rebellion on Wexford bridge, 26 June 1798.
Another brother, Philip, was a member of the British Army, and was buried in England.
Edward Hay was tried for involvement in the Rebellion, but was acquitted. It is clear from Hay’s own
account and from Miles Byrne’s ‘Memoirs’ that Hay himself had little involvement in the actual fighting,
but his actual role is in organizing and promoting the Rebellion is far less certain.
Hay’s book was first published in 1803 and was one of the first accounts of the Rebellion. It was reprinted
many times, most of these reprints omit Hay’s 1803 Introduction and Appendix, as well as his large fold-out
map of the County Wexford.
Hay lived in Dublin in later years and was a prominent member of the Catholic Committee and a very
active member of the Catholic Association. He was Secretary of the Catholic Association, 1806 – 1819.
Edward Hay died at Dublin, 13 October 1826, and is buried in St. James’ graveyard, Kilmainham, Dublin,
where his headstone can still be seen.
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The appendix contains the speech of Edward Sweetman, Captain of a late independent company, at a
meeting of the freeholders of the County of Wexford. Together with: Authentic Detail of the extravagant
and inconsistent conduct of Sir Richard Musgrave, Baronet; with a full refutation of his slander against
Edward Hay. Together with: Extract from the account of the population of Ireland [County Wexford] as
taken in the year 1788, by G.P. Bushe. With folding sheet ‘Analysis of a statistical account of a parish’ as
proposed by the Royal Irish Academy.